Tab

Technology Services

Student Email is now working with Office 365


Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding during our recent troubles upgrading to Office 365 for student email.  We apologize for the inconvenience that the upgrade caused everyone. Tech Services believes that the problems that occurred during the upgrade have now been resolved.

Why we upgraded last week:  Our student email is hosted by Microsoft.  All educational institutions are required to upgrade from Microsoft’s live@edu service to Office 365 by September 2013.  Microsoft gives limited options for choosing when to upgrade.  Basically, they sent us a date.  We could postpone once for 60 days which would have put the upgrade at the end of the semester.  If we didn’t start the upgrade before the date they sent us, Microsoft would automatically start the upgrade for us on April 16. 

Microsoft also told us, "When the upgrade process starts, it will prepare your space in Office 365, and switch all users to the Office 365 version of Exchange Online. This doesn't require moving mailboxes, message delivery is uninterrupted, and access to email, SkyDrive, Skype (Messenger), and other Microsoft services is not impacted." 

Since the cutover was supposed to be seamless, we chose to start the upgrade Sunday evening, March 24, before Spring Break.

What happened:  After the cutover, on Monday, March 25, some students were able to access their email in Office 365 without a problem.  However, many others got caught in an infinite loop; the message "This account can't be used to access Outlook.com" would appear and the student could never log in.

What Alverno did: We submitted problem reports to Microsoft starting on March 25, and Technology Services staff spent hours on the phone working with Microsoft engineers to identify and resolve the problem.  On Friday, March 29, we finally got a “fix” from Microsoft that worked for individual accounts.  This “fix” resolved the problem for many of the 1,000+ students who completed a Problem Report form that we posted online on Saturday, March 30.  The morning of Wednesday, April 3, we applied a system-wide fix that appears to have resolved all of the remaining issues.  We did not apply the system-wide fix earlier since Microsoft was still experiencing delays (see the “service interruption” below) and we couldn’t be sure that running the fix would not lock out students whose email was working.

Why did this happen: We’re not sure.  The best answer we got from a Microsoft engineer was that there might have been a “back-end glitch” somewhere on their side.  We do know that Microsoft experienced a “service interruption” between March 22 and March 29 that “caused provisioning delays”.   This interruption was first announced by Microsoft the evening of March 25.   We will be following up with Microsoft about our concerns over our upgrade process.

What to do if you still can’t log into student email: Follow these directions: Logging into Alverno 365 Student Email.  If you cannot login the first time, close your browser and reopen the browser and try a second time.  (Your browser may be caching an incorrect page.) Be sure to enter your full Alverno email address--username@alverno.edu--when you are prompted for your user name. 

Following these steps has resolved all of the problem reports we’ve received since Wednesday, April 3, when we ran the system-wide fix.  However, if you still cannot login, send an email to helpdesk@alverno.edu.  Include the following information in your email:

  • your first and last name
  • your network username
  • a phone number and/or an alternate email address we can use to contact you
  • a description or a screen shot of the error you receive

Once again, we thank you for your patience and understanding during this upgrade.  We know that your Alverno student email is a critical tool and our goal is to have it up and available for you whenever you need it.

Technology Services

Date Published: April 4 2013